Center for Nonlinear Dynamics, Department of Physics, University of Texas at Austin
We report on progress towards a neutral atom imaging device that will be used for nanofabrication and surface microscopy. Our novel technique for improving refractive power and correcting chromatic aberration in atom lenses is based on a fundamental paradigm shift from continuous-beam focusing to a pulsed, three-dimensional approach. Simulations of this system suggest that it will pave the way toward the long-sought goal of true atom imaging on the nanoscale. Using a prototype lens with a supersonic beam of metastable neon, we have imaged complex patterns with lower distortion and higher resolution than has been shown in any previous experiment. Comparison with simulations corroborates the underlying theory and encourages further refinement of the process.